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The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) maintained its bullish momentum with the benchmark KSE-100 Index closing over the 47,000 level during the trading session on Thursday.

In the afternoon, the benchmark index hit an intra-day high of 47,393.47, an increase of around 710 points.

It retreated slightly as the session drew to a close, but still closed over 47,000.

KSE-100 up 265 points, settles near 46,700

This was the first time in 21 months (since November 2021) that the KSE-100 Index closed over the 47,000 level.

The benchmark index settled at 47,077 after an increase of 394.47 points or 0.85%.

Buying was witnessed across index-heavy sectors including automobile assemblers, cement, chemical, commercial banks, oil and gas exploration companies and OMCs.

Profit-taking meant the index slid slightly after noon, but renewed interest was seen among index-heavy PSO, OGDC, and PPL shares as reports circulated over Saudi Arabia’s planned refinery in Pakistan.

Fahad Rauf, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities Limited, told Business Recorder there are reports that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the $10-billion Saudi oil refinery is expected to be signed today.

“The MoU will feature the Saudi government and Pakistan’s E&P giants including Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Pak-Arab Refinery (PARCO) and Government Holding Private Company Limited (GHPL),” said Rauf.

“Market sentiment has already been positive after the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).

“Additionally, the finance ministry also conducted a meeting on the energy sector, and the market expects circular debt issues of energy companies would improve.”

Arif Habib Limited (AHL) Head of Research Tahir Abbas also echoed the view.

“After the IMF agreement, the energy sector has been in the limelight,” Abbas told Business Recorder. “Investors are seen taking key interest.

“With the focus on resolving the circular debt issue, the entire energy chain is in focus. The oil/gas sector and exploration companies in particular are seeing heavy interest.”

In a notice to the PSX close to 2pm, OGDCL informed that a MoU has been signed between itself and Pakistan State Oil (PSO).

Under the MoU, the two companies agreed on cooperation and collaboration and a joint investment strategy for setting up a greenfield refinery project in Balochistan under a consortium arrangement with foreign investors, the notice said.

Experts also attributed the KSE-100’s run to the news of loan rollover from China’s EXIM Bank, corporate earnings among other positive triggers.

In a post on Twitter, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday announced that China’s EXIM Bank has rolled over principal payments of loans worth $2.4 billion for two years.

“Chinese EXIM Bank has rolled over for 2 years principal amounts of following loans totalling $2.4 billion which are due in next 2 fiscal years i.e. FY2023-24: $1.2 billion; FY2024-25: $1.2 billion,” said Dar.

Meanwhile, the KSE-100 has gained 5,624 points or 13.6% since the staff-level agreement with the IMF.

Sectors lifting the benchmark index higher on Thursday included banking (199.91 points), oil and gas exploration (151.23 points) and power generation and distribution (77.63 points).

On the economic front, the Pakistani rupee continued to become stronger against the US dollar, as it appreciated 0.21% to settle at 286.45.

Volume on the all-share index increased to 455.1 million from 429.5 million on Wednesday. The value of shares traded rose to Rs17.88 billion from Rs14.13 billion in the previous session.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 40.2 million shares followed by K-Electric Limited with 30.2 million shares and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited with 28.5 million shares.

Shares of 344 companies were traded on Thursday, of which 146 registered an increase, 182 recorded a fall and 16 remained unchanged.

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